New idol groups often go viral for the most unexpected but usually good reasons. New K-Pop group XEED went viral due to the ages of their group members, while NewJeans gained attention for their debut rollout.
A new idol group, SHA48, based in Bejing recently made their debut, consisting of five members: Lingdang, Yuyu, Xiaolu, Xiaoling, and Junjun. The group quickly gained attention for their cute, girlish style in official photos shared on their Weibo page.
The group held their first offline performance on December 30, and fans were excited to see the group in person. However, attendees were shocked to see that the members looked different from their original photos, especially member Lingdang.
After some digging online, it was discovered that Lingdang is actually a man.
This discovery stirred so much sentiment within the fans that the group posted an announcement on their Weibo stating that they “never announced through any platform that we’re a girl group.”
We’ve never announced through any platform that we’re a girl group, and we’ve never called ourselves a girl group. We are just an underground idol group.
Netizens quickly responded to the post, bringing up an earlier announcement where the group explained their name and mentioned the famous girl groups AKB48 and SNH48.
SHA is short for Shanghai, Mainland China. 48 is added because the benchmarks for the group are AKB48 and SNH48.
Photos posted online by Lingdang quickly racked up comments from netizens commenting on his appearance after the reveal.
- That Adam’s apple
- Can you cover up that Adam’s apple in the first photo
Rumors that Lingdang is responsible for investing money into the group also began circulating online. While a man being the center of a more “feminine” themed group is not an entirely new phenomenon, the “deception” was truly not anticipated by fans.